Approximately 520 of MiraCosta's estimated 2,000 graduates celebrated the college’s 80th commencement ceremony. Let's learn more about some of this year's standouts.
Student Graduate Speaker: Samantha Webb Samantha Webb delivered this year’s commencement address. Webb is a foster youth student who has achieved tremendous success against all odds. When she was a young teenager, Samantha Webb’s mother passed away unexpectedly. The 13-year-old, along with her 10-year-old brother, Thomas, packed up their bags and moved from central to southern California to live with their father. Read the rest of Samantha’s story here.
MiraCosta All-Star: Antoine Stevens-Phillips
Antoine Stevens-Phillips (featured on right with Superintendent/President Sunny Cooke) was settling into a career as a political consultant when he enrolled at MiraCosta College on the advice of an uncle. No surprise, then, that he quickly rose to become vice president of legislative affairs for the Associated Student Government.
“Being at MiraCosta College has been an amazing experience and will play an instrumental role in helping me reach my goals,” said the 27-year-old native of Detroit, who is the first in his family to go to college, and eventually plans on enrolling in law school. “There are so many resources here and so many people willing to help.” Read the rest of Antoine’s story here.
Medal of Honor Recipient/Nursing Grad: Tara Ponsot
Nursing graduate Tara Ponsot began her college journey more than two decades ago. After only two semesters, Ponsot left school to work full-time and take care of her daughter as a single mother. In 2007, she restarted her college career at MiraCosta College.
“I chose MiraCosta because of the great reputation of the college’s nursing program,” said Ponsot. Ponsot entered MiraCosta’s Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) certificate program. After finishing the program, she began the LVN-RN Career Ladder Nursing Program. Read the rest of Tara’s story here.
Graduating Veteran: Jason Blevins
Marine Corps veteran and 2015 Medal of Honor student Jason Blevins found civilian life a challenge after beingin the service for five years. Blevins chose to attend MiraCosta College after learning about the college’s supportive environment. “After being out of school for years, I needed an environment that offered help and support to students whenever they needed it,” said Blevins. “MiraCosta College offered just that. Read the rest of Jason’s story here.
2014-2015 ASG President: CoCo Brown
The youngest sibling of a multicultural military family, CoCo Brown is no stranger to hard times. One of her saddest moments was when her uncle passed away and her mother, his caregiver, lost her vision. Soon after, Brown and her mother became homeless and had to fend for themselves, living out of a vehicle and even becoming squatters. Things hit rock bottom when Brown turned 17 and spent her birthday homeless. “I remember my mother keeping her head down as she cried, because she didn’t want me to see her tears, and she was ashamed and apologetic that we were homeless." Read the rest of CoCo’s story here
Double Graduate Extraordinaire: Ian Rigby
It’s rare for a student to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time, but Vista resident Ian Rigby did just that. Rigby, 21, was home schooled from preschool and had never stepped onto a school campus until the first day of fall classes in 2011. “I was home schooled all throughout my life and felt I had no academic skills,” said Rigby. Read the rest of Ian’s story here
Congratulations to all our graduating students!
Here's a few interesting facts about the Class of 2015:
The youngest graduate this year is only 17, while the oldest is almost six decades older at 74 years old.
More than 18 percent of this year’s associate degree graduates are first-generation college students.
369 graduates earned a place on the President's List (3.5 GPA and above in a single semester) with 67 students earning the President's Permanent Honor Roll (3.5 GPA and above for three consecutive semesters).
Approximately 10 percent of our graduates are veterans.
View photos from all of this year's graduation events via Flickr:
MiraCosta College 80th Commencement
2015 Adult High School Graduation
Nursing Pinning Ceremony 2015